Headlines that make you crave 김치 (kimchi)

July 2, 2009

Better diplomacy through food… saw the following headline on the BBC News website:

Spare rib diplomacy in Pyongyang

Which of course brought to mind Korean Barbecue, and to go with it, naturally, some kimchi on the side.

And speaking of unusual ways to get closer to a notably closed country like North Korea, Jesse Brown interviewed Curtis Melvin on a recent episode of the Search Engine podcast on TVO in which they spoke about how Curtis and a network of contributors has created “the most authoritative map of North Korea on Google Earth


IED in the oven

December 18, 2007

Bit of a scare today — while K was making dinner, her trusty Pyrex® baking dish became an IED. Here are a few photos of the aftermath:

Like walkin’ on broken glass (with apologies to Annie Lennox)

Helluva mess.

Box o’ glass.

Here’s what had been roasting in the dish:

carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions.

Sigh… would have been a great dinner, there was a roast chicken from the grocery store to go with the roast veg (you may not be able to tell from the photo, but there were potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and onions) and as well K was baking a lovely acorn squash. More on the squash in a bit…

When I got home, the oven had cooled enough that we could clean up a bit — enough for K to throw together a quickie soup made from slices of the chicken added to some store bought broth with some pucks of Chinese noodles simmered a few minutes to soften them through. A few seasonings and it turned out to be tasty and filling, if not as good as the planned meal would have been.

I decided to Google for “exploding pyrex” just to see if her experience was unusual or not. Judging from the results, apparently not. I looked at one site in particular, ConsumerAffairs.com, which had an article titled “Pyrex Panic” — it certainly had been for K.

The truly amazing thing in the article is the attitude of the VP from the parent company of Pyrex®, who said in a letter to ConsumerAffairs.com:

“We want to assure you that neither PYREX glass bakeware nor other glass bakeware ‘explodes.’ Glass does not explode but it can break. As glass bonds break, people may hear a noise and be surprised.”

Now, remember the squash I mentioned above? It was baking in the oven at the same time as the veg; both were in 9″x13″ baking pans/dishes — the squash, halved, was sitting in a metal pan and, well, you know what the veg were in.

The Pyrex® dish was on the lower rack and the squash in the metal pan were above them on the upper rack. And we had to pitch the squash in the recycle along with all the veg from the broken dish — a complete waste of good food and hard earned grocery money (we’re still getting back on our feet financially after my recently ended bout of unemployment, so wasting money is especially grating; you can read about my Adventures in Job Search Land in the archives).

Oh, and the reason why the squash had to be tossed as well? There was at least one piece of glass in the bottom of the metal baking pan, and no way to tell if there were any more lurking inside the squash. Do ya’ feel lucky, punk? Only wish I’d had the presence of mind to photograph that too… I blame it on the stress (and mine was fairly minimal compared to K’s, who had been steadying the dish with one hand — gotta love those Ove Gloves — while stirring the veg around with a plastic cooking spoon when it broke — it pretty much scared the… <insert your favourite expression for what gets scared out of you at times like these> out of her, and the fingers on the hand that was holding the dish are aching)

So, if Pyrex® doesn’t explode, I’d like that VP to explain to me just exactly when they managed to perfect teleportation


Ouch… That’s *gotta* hurt.

September 7, 2007

I was listening to The Last Word today, Maureen Holloway‘s choice little island of wit and gossip in The Wasteland That Is Morning Talk Radio, when I heard about this, er, hot item.

Thank heavens I wasn’t drinking a cuppa’ joe in the car (driving is a serious occupation, IMNSHO, so I don’t often try to do other things at the same time) or I’d have had to stop to clean a gynormous spit-take off the inside of the windshield (er, make that windscreen, in honour of Mr. Ramsay‘s nationality).

And here I thought only race car drivers needed Nomex(TM) underwear…


Women are from Venus; Men are from Duh.

May 13, 2007

Oops. Mea gobble, mea gobble, mea maxima gobble (to paraphrase from the Latin “mea culpa).

We went to the weekly Saturday morning farmers’ market in town and picked up a bunch of the first “local” asparagus — it was from a farm in South Western Ontario somewhere down near Lake Erie, which isn’t strictly local to where we live, but does fall within (or at least within a country mile or so… :) ) the 100 mile (~160 km) criteria (as in “The Hundred Mile Diet) we’ve been trying to stick to as often as possible when shopping these days.

We also bought some organic shiitake mushrooms from Greenfields Farm, which has a stall at the farmers’ market. For dinner, K combined them into this:

Sauté of local asparagus with organic shiitake mushrooms.

A lovely sauté of the local asparagus, first of the season, with the organic shiitake mushrooms. It was delicious…

Now to the oops part (yes, I know it’s hard for you to believe that I’m not perfect… ;) ) — I was cleaning up in the kitchen (which is my usual role in the process of doing dinner, well, apart from eating it that is) afterwards and eventually got to the pot that K had blanched (or parboiled or something like that…) the asparagus in prior to adding it to the sauté. The water that the asparagus had been cooked in was still in the pot; nothing unusual about that, I thought.

So I emptied the pot down the drain before loading it into the dishwasher.

And a little while later, when K comes into the kitchen after I’m pretty much done cleaning up, she looks at the pot-less stove top and cries out “Where’s my asparagus broth?!?!?“.

She explained that she had planned on using the broth as an ingredient for other dinners later in the week. But she had forgotten to mention this to me, and I didn’t even think about asking whether she wanted to keep the cooking water before I pitched it out.

Well, I really felt bad about it — I’m sure that the broth would have been put to good use in livening up the taste of another dish.

You can be sure, though, that from now on, I’ll be asking before I dispose of just about anything when I’m cleaning up in the kitchen.

And that’s why I’ve concluded that women are from Venus and men are from Duh… :)


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